10 Vines that I want to remember from last year…
10. The 1st Full Moon of 2014
I always wonder if people who see my Vines try to figure out how I shot them. I wonder this partly because the answer is often embarrassingly complex and I’m afraid people will realize the level of nerd needed to make these clips. Next time it’s a full moon, hold up your phone and try taking a picture that looks like you’re pinching the moon. You’ll see why this is way harder than it seems. But in the end I love when a super difficult shoot works itself out (especially since you can’t really ask the moon to start over) and you can forgive yourself for destroying the kitchen just to film the first full moon of the year.
9. The Sochi Experience
“Bittersweet” would be the word I would use to describe the month I spent at the Sochi Olympics. Sweet because the people there were some of the most talented and inspiring people I have had the pleasure of meeting. Sweet because I had just learned I was going to be a dad. Sweet because it was a chance to travel and make art for a living. But then very, very bitter when you consider the political, social, economic, and environmental implications of the Winter Games. I am ashamed for having been silent on LGBTQIA rights while there and I still question what I should have done.
“To regret the past, to hope in the future, and never to be satisfied with the present…” — Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Alone in my deserted hotel by the Black Sea I drew this picture of Tchaikovsky while listening to his Pas de deux from the Nutcracker on repeat. There is no song more powerfully bittersweet than this one. A work of pure genius from a man who took his own life so as to finally escape the persecution he suffered for being a homosexual. Hope in the future.
8. Put a Flower in Your Hair
Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet (in every possible sense), here is a Vine of Golden Gate Bridge. I would like to remember this Vine because it is part of a series I started doing before Instagram released Hyperlapse and popularized this sort of visual effect. Other artists, like Kevin Parry, have been doing amazing work in this style for years and it always fascinates me how we can manipulate our perception of space. Anyway, I’m putting it here at #8 to remember all the fun I had making these little 6 second postcards from around the world.
7. Choose Your Own AdVINEture
I made 35 videos in Miami Beach as part of a hugely elaborate Vine game. And while I have always loved, “Choose Your Own Adventure” projects, I am sad to admit that I think the real motivating factor for doing this series was the pun. That’s me in a nutshell: make an insanely complex matrix of accounts and videos all involving stop motion and storylines and hours of filming (instead of chilling at the beach bar) all for a pun. The fact that nobody else has done another project like this is a sign that it is way too time consuming. But it was totally worth it ☺ You can play the game here
6. La gueule de bois
“What happens if you screw up?”
This is the first question everyone always asks when they see these beard Vines. The answer? “I wait until my beard grows back and I pray I don’t screw up again.” My wife had a friend over when I was filming this and I wonder what she thought of me as I sat in the bathroom for an hour with a razor buzzing away and a little wooden puppet strapped to a pipe. Because let’s be honest: without context that just sounds like some major weird perv stuff. Anyway, I would like to thank Vine for turning shaving into an artistic pastime for me. I used to hate shaving, and now it’s like Christmas each time I get to bust out the clippers. You can see the full collection here.
5. In-Flight DIY Movies
One of the joys of being 6'3" is that you are incapable of not being in complete agony on airplanes. So I usually turn my flying time into production time. This particular Vine is a source of pride because not only is it hard to do hand animation on a jet, but it’s also super hard do animation that interacts with the very paper upon which it is drawn. And then add to that the fact that you have to keep the camera still and hope the guy in front of you doesn’t recline. So yeah, this is one of my Top 5 of 2014. Side note: if you are on the marketing team of an airline or if you work for 3M/Post-it… please call me? I think I would make an amazing addition to your digital content strategy plan.
4. Muybridge Etch-A-Sketch
As with #5, here’s another Vine I made on a plane — this time as I flew back from the Met Gala (that’s right: white tux, champagne, Cumberbatch, Beckham, Depp… did I mention I still had braces? Bangarang, Rufio!). Anyway, back to this Vine. I’m not usually a sore loser but I will admit I was pretty bummed I didn’t get an Oscar nod for this video. Because this was, without a doubt, the hardest Vine I made last year. And for the record: this is an all-natural Vine. No trickery or CGI. I hand animated Muybridge’s Horse In Motion on a friggin Etch A Sketch on a plane. I had to use my nose to take the pictures. PS: I’m not turning into one of those dudes who makes life-size portraits of US presidents out of toothpicks, am I? I’m cool, right guys? Guys…?
3. SoHO SloMo
This was one of those moments of inspiration where out of nowhere I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted to shoot. I put my camera in a tree (New York’s safe, right?), set it to make a time lapse, and then slowly inched my way across the sidewalk for 15 minutes. The nice thing about Manhattan is that absolutely nobody even registers when there is a random guy frozen mid-stride on the street. This video did take me 3 tries but in the end I thought it was such a cool way to cinematically express what it feels like to be a newcomer in the big city.
2. It Comes in Waves
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And then try again. And again. Before making the video you see on the left I had already made a different Vine earlier that same morning. Long story short, it flopped. My usual reaction when this happens is to start freaking out about how I’m a talentless hack who shouldn’t have left his job and I pretty much just want to delete my account because obviously I totally suck. But luckily on this particular January morning, with the sun shining and the fresh ocean air and all that crap, I stayed positive for some reason and I decided to try again. Later in the day, while walking on a pier, I saw this view and decided to make another video. I redid it 4 times but in the end I got the shot I wanted and this was one of my most popular Vines of last year ☺
1. The 9 Month Vine
Life goes by so fast. So much faster than I even realize. Collaborating with Claire on this video was such a wonderful way to capture our journey into becoming a family.
Without a doubt, 2014 was the most beautiful year of my life.